OPINION, P6 ECONOMY, P2 SUNIL JAIN Govt taking on all of AI’s debt equals just 3-4 years of its losses INTERNATIONAL, P4 S GHOSH/P GHOSH $2-BILLION PNB FRAUD POST-BREXIT ROUTE Pvt school enrolment in K’taka Nirav Modi faces fresh FIR for holding multiple Indian passports Britain's May pledges additional £20 bn for healthcare MUMBAI, MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER & FACEBOOK. APP AVAILABLE ON APP STORE & PLAYSTORE WWW.FINANCIALEXPRESS.COM READ TO LEAD VOL. LVIII NO. 143, 14 PAGES, `7.00 P U B L I S H E D F R O M : A H M E D A B A D , B E N G A L U R U , C H A N D I G A R H , C H E N N A I , H Y D E R A B A D , K O C H I , K O L K ATA , L U C K N O W, M U M B A I , N E W D E L H I , P U N E MARKET REVIEW Farm distress for real, prices plunge Continued on Page 2 Continued on Page 2 (Vidisha, MP) (Akola, MH) 5,486 3,786 (Ahmednagar, MH) Soyabean 88.4 Sugarcane 11.5 44.1 62.9 Bajra 18.2 -18.6 82.7 133.4 Clearly, the profitability of all these crops,which together haveamajorshareinthecountry’s farm output, declined over the past year,causing distress in rural India and triggering the farmers’agitation. Asformostpulses,theminimum support prices have Jowar 4.4 8.8 47.1 47.8 Soyabean 0 -40 52.4 2017-18 Groundnut 40 2013-14 2.1 80 Tur 31 Mustard (%) 120 5,300 3,507 33.8 Chana 20.8 (Indore, MP) 2,146 1,700 4,139 3,642 Cotton Maize (Kadi, GJ) 2.4 MSP over A2+FL cost 160 FE BUREAU New Delhi, June 17 been hiked liberallyduring the NDAgovernment’s tenure in a bidtoincentivisetheirproduction, but the prices in many mandis ruled far below the MSPs and procurement operations were below par. 12 *Kharif crops Oct-Dec, rabi March-June Maize THE TATAS HAVE called for an emergency board meet to settle the leadership issue at their joint venture budget airline AirAsia India with Malaysian partner Tony Fernandes on Tuesday, reports Manisha Singhal in Mumbai. It is understood that the airline was looking to appoint their current director, operations, Manish Uppal, as the interim CEO but the move fell through. 10.2 61 31.9 IN THE NEWS AirAsia: Tatas call emergency board meet tomorrow GOVERNMENT MANAGERS HAVE sought to talk down the recent nationwide farmers’ agitation as a mere attempt to hog the limelight. But a cursory analysis of key agricultural markets across the country would reveal the farming distress is real. During the 2017-18 crop year (July-June), the mandi prices of most pulses and oilseeds, all coarse cereals and cotton — key crops other than riceandwheatwhosefarm-gate prices are protected via MSP operations — were all significantly lower than the previous year’slevels.Areviewofthemarket prices by FE showed price decline of over 30% in case of majorpulses and up to 12% for oilseeds.Also,maize prices during the harvest season between October-December 2017 ruled 10% lower than the year-ago period; jowar too was sold by farmers 20% cheaper. 0 6.1 Cotton PRABHUDATTA MISHRA New Delhi, June 17 1,000 (Nizamabad, TL) 2,000 (Rajkot, GJ) 3,000 Groundnut 4,000 1,366 1,227 5,000 Difference (%) 2017-18 Jowar 2016-17 6,000 2,876 2,807 (`/qtl) More steps to lift growth, says Modi WITH GENERAL ELECTIONS less than a year away, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hinted at “many more steps” to take the country’s economic growth rate to double-digits and urged the chief ministers, many of whom are unhappy over the 15th Finance Commission’s terms of reference, to “give fresh ideas” to the constitutional body “for incentivising outcome-based allocations and expenditure correction”. Addressing the NitiAayog’s fourth Governing Council meeting, Modi also called for “widespread” debate on holding simultaneous elections to theLokSabhaandstateassemblies saying that itwill result in financial savings. On their part, the Opposition-ruled states in one voice reiterated their concern over the Centre’s alleged attempt to dilute cooperative federalism and said the Centre would do welltonot‘unnecessarilyinterfere’in states’affairs.Biharand Andhra Pradesh also used the ocassiontopresstheirdemand for special-category status, althoughindependentanalysts have long spoken against such differentiations,withoutwhich thebackwardstatesareanyway allocated optimum resources. Average market (mandi) prices* 5,166 4,849 Mandi prices of pulses down 30% in 2017-18; oilseeds, coarse cereals cheaper too ● NITI AAYOG MEET MONETISATION New TOT package may fetch govt `12,000-18,000 crore ROUHAN SHARMA Mumbai, June 17 THE NEXT THREE bundles of road projects, to be sold to investors via the toll-operatetransfer (TOT) model, are expected to fetch the government between `12,000 crore and `18,000 crore, people familiarwith the development said. A total 26 road projects across 1,700 km will be sold. The first package, comprising 648 km of roads, had brought in `9,681.5 crore. Analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities have pointed NHAI-run 26 highways across Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Rajasthan, UP, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Telangana Total length 1,703 km to be bid out in three phases out that the winning bid reflected the willingness of bidders to pay for potential under-collectionofthetolland the confidence in their ability to efficiently price in traffic risk diversified over a region. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was able to achieve `9,600 crore as theenterprisevalue(EV)payout fromMacquarie;thisimpliesan EVtosalesmultipleof13times. The first of the three new packages will comprise a total nineroadprojectsspanning479 km across the eastern states of Odisha,West Bengal,Bihar and onenorth-easternstate,Assam. Continued on Page 2 DISCOMS' LOSS REDUCTION Cost curbs, tariff hikes held the key ANUPAM CHATTERJEE New Delhi, June 17 A REINING IN of the costs of electricity generation at stateowned power plants, tariff hikes and digital billing-andcollection have enabled stateowned electricity distribution companies(discoms)underthe Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) to halve their lossesto`17,352croreinFY18. According to official data reviewed by FE,average power purchase costs (from nonrenewable sources) increased at much lower rates after Curbs on power purchase cost... 7.5 Annual increase (%) (FY16-18, %) FY17 FY18 31.4 27.7 Chhattisgarh Madhya Pradesh 22.9 Bihar 1.2 1.4 FY16 ... sharper tariff increases Jharkhand Karnataka 20.2 18.6 ...and retiring of old plants let UDAY discoms cut losses to `17,352 crore in FY18 from `32,071 crore in FY17 UDAY implementation. The costrosejust1.2%inFY17and 1.4% in FY18, compared with a sharp 7.5% in FY16.Andhra Pradesh and Bihar even man- aged to marginally reduce their power purchase costs in FY18 over the previous year. Continued on Page 2
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